Karissa Dieseldorff Jones
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
I never really thought science would be in my career path. It was not until I took an undergraduate science class for non-majors that my perspective completely changed. That class allowed me to see how science is in everything that we do and live in, and that science was just an outlet to organize our curiosity. Ever since that class, I have devoted all of my efforts to becoming a scientist. I currently have been exploring genetic heart disease through my work in the lab of Dr. Jose Renato Pinto. In this lab I study a genetic mutation that threatens the lives of young athletes and children. Through funding from the NIH F31 that I was awarded, I have more flexibility to study a therapeutic target with the potential to significantly extend and better the lives of those living with this mutation. My future career goals include science in and out of the lab. I want to continue to increase the frontier of scientific knowledge both in human disease and in the classroom. In this regard, I have been a part of many outreach activities, especially through the organization SciWorld, which allows me to engage with 1st-12th grade students and teach them to be curious about their world.